Porn industry relying on ‘weekend’ AV actresses to cope with stiff times

Shukan Post April 20
Shukan Post April 20
In a detailed report covering Japan’s adult video (AV) industry, Shukan Post reports that the once thriving biz is in the middle of a flaccid period, with amateur actresses taking up the slack.

Every month up to 2,500 AV releases hit store shelves. But sales are slumping — annual market estimated to be worth between 400 billion and 500 billion yen — and production budgets have been slashed from 10 million yen per DVD to roughly one-tenth of that figure over the past 15 years.

As a result, the industry is cutting costs and seeing a steady rise in the employment of “weekend only” actresses.

“Monday through Friday, a gal might work very diligently at a bank,” one AV production employee tells the tabloid. “But on the weekend she’ll have an interest in doing something different and relieving stress. That’s the sort of reasoning we’ve been hearing regarding the increase (in weekend actresses).”

Further, popular feature stories on sex appearing inside women’s magazines have also had an impact.

“By increasing knowledge of sex, desire has become stronger,” claims a different AV production company employee. “The women will say that they hadn’t experienced pleasure during sex previously, and want to reach climax with a professional actor. For these gals, it’s not about money. Therefore, the industry can put them to work for less.”

That has not always been the case. Once upon a time, top actresses received handsome wages, garnering four million to five million per flick. Shukan Post discusses the market with Yuri Komuro, the queen of the industry between 1996 and 1999.

Wages usually start high at the start and slowly drop off,” says the 36-year-old actress, who says she was paid one million yen for her first appearance. “Then my rate fell off to 700,000 yen. But nowadays I’m hearing gals will receive 100,000 yen at their debut, with the drop off hitting 50,000 yen.

“If that were the case for me, I wouldn’t do it,” Komuro continues. “The meaning of being an actress today is something like being an amateur engaged in a hobby.”

Amid all the gloom, one positive in the industry remains: Production companies are finding recruitment less cumbersome.

“It used to be that scouts picked girls up off the streets, but that has fallen off due to intensified public nuisance ordinances,” says the AV production company previously quoted. “Now, applications can be processed just about anywhere. Because scouts aren’t being paid it’s really easy.”

On the Web, aspiring actresses can file applications while being informed of such things as the contract amount, that their faces will not be identifiable, and the availability of any necessary alibi services. (K.N.)

Source: “Shayosangyo adoruto bideo gyokai no igai na hanjowa,” Shukan Post (April 20, pages 152-155)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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